New Delhi: National Health Authority (NHA) estimates for 2017-2018 clearly show that there has been an increase in the share of government health expenditure in the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country. It has increased from 1.15 per cent in 2013-14 to 1.35 per cent in 2017-2018, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday (November 29).
The official release stated, “The 2017-2018 NHA estimates not only show government expenditure on health exhibiting an increasing trend but also growing trust in the public health care system. With the present estimate of NHA 2017-18, India has had a continuous Time Series on NHA estimates for both government and private sources for five years since 2013-2014. These estimates are not only comparable internationally, but also enable the policymakers to monitor progress towards universal health coverage as envisaged in the National Health Policy, 2017.”
The findings also show that the Government’s health expenditure as a share of total Government expenditure has increased from 3.78 per cent to 5.12 per cent between 2013-14 and 2017-2018, clearly indicating Government’s priority for the health sector in the country. In per capita terms, the government health expenditure has increased from Rs 1042 to Rs.1753 between 2013-14 to 2017-2018.
The nature of the increase in the Government’s health sector is also moving in the right direction as more emphasis has been given to primary healthcare. The share of primary healthcare in current government health expenditure has increased from 51.1 per cent in 2013-14 to 54.7 per cent in 2017-18. Primary and secondary care accounts for more than 80 per cent of the current Government health expenditure.
There has been an increase in the share of primary and secondary care in the case of Government health expenditure. In the case of the private sector, the share of tertiary care has increased but primary and secondary care show a declining trend.
Between 2016-17 and 2017-18 in government, the share of primary and secondary care has increased from 75 per cent to 86 per cent. In the private sector, the share of primary and secondary care has declined from 84 per cent to 74 per cent.
The share of social security expenditure on health, which includes the social health insurance program, Government financed health insurance schemes, and medical reimbursements made to Government employees has increased.
As a per cent of total health expenditure, the increase is from 6 per cent in 2013-14 to around 9 per cent in 2017-2018. The findings also depict that the foreign aid for health has come down to 0.5 per cent, showcasing India’s economic self-reliance. The government’s efforts to improve public health care are evident with out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) as a share of total health expenditure coming down to 48.8 per cent in 2017-18 from 64.2 per cent in 2013-2014. Even in the case of per capita OOPE there has been a decline from Rs.2336 to Rs.2097 between 2013-14 to 2017-18. One of the factors attributing to this decline is the increase in utilisation and reduction in the cost of services in government health facilities. If we compare NHA 2014-15 and 2017-18 there has been a decline in OOPE for government hospitals to the tune of 50 per cent.
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NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.